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Kale-a-Rama makes me Wonder: Is Veganism the Next Big Thing?

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Veganism has been creeping into my consciousness for a while now, but it was the recent vegan festival in my town that makes me wonder if it’s now mainstream.  The festival, modeled after the successful Garlic Festival  in California (now in its 35th year), and billing itself as the first-ever Kale-a-Rama, managed to draw over 1,000 people, and was a blast. Who’d have thought a vegetable could be so much fun?  Well, not me.

But a bunch of activists for veganism and animal rights in the DC-Baltimore area dreamed up the festival, put together a roster music and vendors, and injected a surprising amount of lightheartedness into the venture.  No stern “eat your vegetables” tone or off-putting PETA antics.

Tasty “kale-luscious” vegan offerings included kale smoothies, kale pate, kale non-dairy ice cream, the “exciting debut” of a vegan food truck, and kale donuts.  Just imagine guilt-free donuts!  Entertainment included the “first-ever” vegan drum circle.  (Lots of “first-evers” that day.)

The organizers tell me that Kale-a-Rama will be back next year, bigger and better.  Here’s my story about all things Kala-a-Rama on the Greenbelt blog that I write.

On the Popularity of Veganism

I’ve been nearly vegetarian for 30+ years (eating no mammals and almost no poultry), for a variety of reasons and had no intention of changing that, until I saw the movie Forks over Knives which made a thoroughly convincing case for full veganism.  

And there’s a growing group of celebs who’ve gone vegan and are making news about it, starting with Bill Clinton, of all people. (Good for him!) And sexy  movie stars, too.

But I wonder – is veganism for ME?  The foods are tasty enough (especially those donuts) but as someone who rarely cooks, for whom Greek yogurt is a primary food group, I’m not sure I could pull it off.  Gotta get enough protein to keep on gardening into my senior years, ya know.

Posted by

Susan Harris
on May 17, 2013 at 8:38 am, in the category Eat This.

19 Comments

  1. If it’s not mainstream yet, it will be. A few of us here, including myself, have gone vegan recently for health reasons. After increasingly high numbers in cholesterol, bad fats, and glucose – even after eating what I would call a healthier than average diet – I had to do something. Waiting on the latest blood work even as we “speak”, but in 3 months I’ve lost 17 pounds and I get to EAT! And being a foodie with an aggressive desire to try new foods ANYWAY, going vegan “cold-turkey” (no pun intended) was a cinch! Some, it’s not as easy, and they have to slide into it slowly. But, I’m not going back no matter what the tests say. A few more pounds to go before I back into my college sized pants and increased energy! And all from food, not exercise, not pills, not supplements…just food! Can’t argue with that!

  2. OH! And it was the Forks Over Knives documentary that opened my eyes. I was the people on the video. Seemed to be healthy, but tests showed otherwise. Watch it! And watch it with an open mind, and listen to the stats and the facts. It’s also hard to argue facts.

  3. Matt, I read that link but couldn’t find the number of grams of protein I’m supposed to be taking in daily. Could you refer us to that? This is of great interest to me in my daily food-planning.

  4. It is my understanding from many a nutrition class that as little 10% of your daily calories should be coming from protein, which weighs in at 4 calories per gram. I don’t want to offer a personalized number because I do not know your weight and activity level.

  5. You’re welcome! Dr McDougall has a very informative website and a forum with free access if you need more information. His focus is on low-fat whole food plant based diet. (so many words!)

  6. Sorry, I kind of forgot I left that comment, but it looks like the answer was already posted. The advice PCRM gives is backed by studies. I know a doctor on the board, and I’m sure he can point me to more info if you need it.

  7. It’s also probably worth noting that I’ve competed in four marathons and an Olympic distance triathlon, and I’ve never had a problem with too little protein But as noted above, the recommended intake depends on many factors such as weight, age, sex, etc..

  8. For those folks in the pic “protesting” for equal eggplant rights – there is an eggplant festival. It’s held in Loomis CA (about 30 minutes outside of Sacramento) every Fall. This year it’s October 5th.

  9. I am nearly vegetarian also. I like how you put it. But I do find that it requires a little more effort in the kitchen. Have you ever made vegetarian burgers? I feel that I have every kitchen implement out to make these burgers. Of course a salad is easy with maybe some chunks of salmon on top, but I can get sick of salads. I have read ‘Forks over Knives” book which has great recipes in it, and am learning how to prepare mostly healthy foods. It is a learning curve.

  10. Doubt if I will ever go all veg, spouse never will but I control the kitchen. Am cutting back on the red meat and introducing more fish and poultry. So he is eating better. I over heard him tell our son with shock and awe: “your mom made this asparagus chicken dish and it was really good!”

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